Tree House's New Humane Center and Veterinary Clinic
After more than five years of researching, planning, and saving, the time has finally come! We are in final preparations to break ground on our new, state-of-the-art Humane Center and Veterinary Clinic! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to build this impressive new facility which will redefine Tree House as a leader in the animal welfare community in Chicago and the nation.
This is an exciting and historic time in Tree House's history. With nearly half a century of experience serving some of Chicago’s most vulnerable animals, we believe our knowledge and innovation have prepared us for the next crucial step in our evolution. With your help, we will greatly improve the quality of life for companion animals and the people who love them by allowing us to better serve those who need us. We have a dream and a plan to serve our community in a more expansive way. With this progressive, new facility, we believe that we will be able to more than double the number of cats we rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home in the first year alone, and our impact on the community of animal-lovers will improve noticeably. We are in preparation for our groundbreaking this Fall, and we'll be kicking things off with a celebratory groundbreaking ceremony (watch our website for details).
Contributions are vital to the mission of Tree House and allow us to provide the comprehensive and innovative programs that have made us a leader in animal welfare. Gifts to the New Building Campaign are the only way we can achieve our goal of building this new, state-of-the-art facility. There are not only numerous ways to give to Tree House, but also a variety of recognition opportunities. Be a part of helping us make this dream a reality.
The House that Love Build
Tree House is a magical place that inspires awe in cat lovers (and lots of questions from nearly everyone that comes inside the building.) When a place is built with the love, hard work, and dedication of caring people, you can feel it, and we’re sure that this is what, in part, makes Tree House so special. Of course, the cats play a big role in that as well. For more than 40 years, hundreds of staff and volunteers, and nearly 20,000 cats (and some dogs, rabbits, chickens, and other small animals) have passed through our doors.
Several years ago, as we looked toward the future and considered Tree House's direction, it became clear that it was time for a new facility - we had simply reached the limits of our current building given its age, size, and the wear and tear that results from a steady population of animals (and people) coming and going seven days a week. We knew we needed a facility that would help us increase the number of animals we serve, and expand and enhance our programs and services, while ensuring the health of our residents.
A New Address
Thanks to an anonymous donor's generous donation of land located at 7225 N. Western Avenue, in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood, Tree House had its new address. Next, we just needed the building. We have been working with the community ever since to prepare to enter the public phase of our Building Campaign. Additionally, we secured the services of Chicago-based architecture firm, The Dobbins Group, renowned for their expertise in efficient and environmentally-friendly building design. In the past year we have refined our designs and created logistical plans and objectives for the new building.
Original building circa 1975
Guidance from Animal Care Experts
To help us build one of the most progressive and innovative facilities in the country, we reached out to animal care experts and are grateful to have their advice to help guide us in the creation of one of this exciting new building.
One such expert is Dr. Sandra Newbury, DVM, National Shelter Medicine Extension Veterinarian working with the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. Dr. Newbury is a preeminent expert on shelter medicine and serves as the Chair of the Shelter Standards Task Force of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. More importantly, Dr. Newbury started her career as an intern at Tree House! She has worked with shelters in the U.S., and in Canada and Australia with a focus on improving the health, welfare, and positive outcomes for homeless animals. We are honored to be working closely with her to assist us with best practices for our medical protocols and animal care.
We are also pleased to have the guidance of cat behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, on the design of our cat housing to enable us to offer the most enriching and stimulating environment possible for our feline residents, while also maintaining a comfortable residential feel. Many of you may know Jackson from his Animal Planet TV series My Cat From Hell. Jackson also works closely with animal shelters and rescue organizations throughout the country to help with both behavioral and environmental enrichment programs for feline residents.
Finally, we are working with Cat Style Expert and founder of Hauspanther Design, Kate Benjamin, who has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and CBS Sunday Morning. Hauspanther’s mission involves paying attention to the design of objects and environments to create living spaces that accommodate the natural instincts of cats – keeping them happy, healthy, and well behaved – without compromising our own sense of style and comfort. We are thrilled to have Kate’s design expertise and special talent to help us integrate function, and style and give our new facility a unique personality!
Improving the Quality of Life for Cats and the Community
This new facility will help us do more of what we do best. We will continue our commitment to rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured, abused, and abandoned stray cats – cats who often times have nowhere else to go. And with this progressive facility, we will be able to more than double the number of cats we help each year, as well as reach new heights in shelter medicine and housing.
Yet, our new building will be much more than just a shelter. To help extend our mission of creating a humane community, our new facility will serve as a community center with a focus on animal welfare. Our goal is to bring education, volunteers, and services together under one roof, and provide guidance and direction to animal lovers across the country.
The modern, airy, and light-filled design of our new building will welcome visitors and provide a more enriching environment and comfortable space for our cats to reside while they await their forever home. Our mission and vision will be thoughtfully represented throughout the entire space which will feature, increased natural daylight to improve cat welfare as well as human interaction, a residential feel for the cats, which lends to socialization and medical care, diverse cat suite rooms equipped with a variety of healthy stimulation options and calming safe spaces, a community-oriented outdoor space that draws interest, a cutting-edge mechanical system to purify the air, state-of-the-art equipment, and natural building materials. Additionally, updated isolation wards will provide more comfort to the cats and be more easily sanitized, which will help decrease the spread of disease and the quarantine time for new admissions, allowing us to adopt out our cats more quickly and greatly increase the number of animals we save.
Serving Our Community
Tree House is far more than just a shelter. In fact, we often tell people “Tree House is a lifestyle”. Our outreach programs keep animals in their homes – particularly in times of hardship – and educate the public about compassionate and responsible animal care. Our new building will include the following features to help us better serve our community and prevent the millions of needless companion animal deaths that result from a lack of programs and services:
• Public Veterinary Clinic treating cats and dogs, providing many of the same services of a private veterinary practice.
• Education Center featuring instruction on topics such as Cat and Dog Behavior 101, Litterbox Logisitics, Kitty Kindergarten, Pet Trusts, Pet Loss Grief Support, and Helping Community Cats with TNR, as well as hosting our Animal-Assisted Therapy, Youth Volunteer Programs, and partner rescue group adoption events.
• Pet Food Pantry & Supply Store supporting the nutritional needs of the pets of low-income families and feral cat colony caretakers, subsidized by the sale of pet food and merchandise to adopters and the general public.
• 'Cat'fe' serving coffee, tea, and snacks in our first floor lobby where people can enjoy treats while they hang out with some special felines.
• Adoption Rooms with sun-drenched outdoor enclosures, lots of vertical space to explore, and an abundance of natural light, uniquely showcasing Tree House residents with an enriching environment.
Let's Make this Dream a Reality
Be a part of Tree House's exciting future. There are not only numerous ways to give to Tree House, but also a variety of recognition opportunities. Please give as generously as you can and help us build a more compassionate community!
You can give online with an outright gift of cash, which is the simplest way for you to give. A cash gift qualifies a donor for a full charitable deduction. Every little bit helps!
To give by mail send to: Tree House Humane Society Attn: New Building Campaign, 1212 W. Carmen Ave. Chicago, IL 60640 (make checks payable to Tree House Humane Society notating THHS New Building Campaign in the memo line).
Other Ways to Give
In addition to cash gifts, there are a variety of ways to contribute including:
• Appreciated Securities
• Matching Gifts
• Real Estate
• In-kind Gifts
• Deferred Gifts
To learn more about our New Building Campaign or discuss how you can get involved, please contact Tree House Executive Director, Dave de Funiak: Dave@TreeHouseAnimals.org or 773-784-5488 ext. 231.
Saving More Cats Like Winkle
Public Veterinary Clinic